Timothy J. Fairplay: It’s worth watching Italian zombie movies
While I’m not exactly having a festival summer this year it’s not possible to ignore some of the things going on back on the continent. Logout is a pretty new initiative launched last year and it’s a weekend meant to do exactly what’s it called – to log out by the lake somewhere in the woods of Lithuania. The lineup’s packed with some of the grooviest local artists, everything from funk to techno, and there are a few special guests. Let’s meet Timothy J. Fairplay then.
He’s ½ of The Asphodells project, and since the other half is Andrew Weatherall, that might already suggest you Tim’s the real deal. You could also think about Battant, a band produced by Ivan Smagghe and Tim Paris – and C.A.R. used to be a member, too. Small world, indeed, full of individuals that are oh so hard to categorize by styles, tempos or decades of influence.
I also particularly like what Tim does together with his mate Scott Fraser under the nae of Crimes of the Future. Here’s a recent set recorded at one of their parties, and off we go with the questions.
How did you team up with Andrew Weatherall? Was working with him something you always aimed for?
I was in a band called Battant who had formed around a club Andrew was doing at the time called Haywire. We needed somewhere to rehearse and Andrew had a spare room going in his studio. That was ten years ago. Ha ha, no not exactly, I had been a fan since I was in my early late teens.
What’s the future of The Asphodells?
At the moment Andrew & I are doing stuff apart, except I have been doing some of his recent remixes with him. Andrew’s studios on Scrutton Street are being demolished soon so we are all moving out. I have taken a place on Fish Island with Scott Fraser, Andrew is taking somewhere away from East London. We’ll have to wait and see after the move is over and the dust settles a bit, maybe next year we’ll do something.
Being an indie kid, how did you end up at the DJ booth?
I got pretty bored of indie music pretty fast. My attention span is pretty short. Also it was very conservative. Obviously dance music can be very conservative too, what other sort of music can be defined just by its tempo? I started djing when I was about 18/19. Also where I can from at that time everybody liked Drum & Bass and crappy late 90’s breaks music, so I was a bit the odd one out for playing house.
Same goes for philosophy - did music distract you from your studies? Or did academic life sort of inspire you as a musician?
I was a musician a long time before I studied philosophy. When you say you’ve studied philosophy people tend to think of it as being very dry, almost like maths. I did a lot of aesthetics though, and studied romanticism for my MA, so there was a lot more of an overlap with music than you might expect really. Though I don’t think studying philosophy affected my music in a direct way. Way too pretentious. When you are in a club you don’t really want to feel like somebody is trying to teach you something.
Do you think music is the final career path for you? What else would you like to try or do?
Well its kind of all I have ever done, I know I won’t ever stop making music even if I am doing something else too. I could go back to academia… I’m not very careerist though. I’d like to travel; there are a lot of parts of the world I’d love to go too.
Everyone’s part of some kind of scene. What’s your scene?
I have no idea really; I’d like to think I was outside any scene.
Do you feel you have inspired other producers with your sound?
I’m not sure, maybe? There’s a lot of stuff around these days that sounds kind of like the music I was making a few years back.
Do you like clubs/parties/festivals because it’s a good socializing environment or because you can lose yourself in the crowd and be safely alone?
I like standing on the stage in front of everyone all night.
Does being a headliner in a club/party/festival put any additional pressure on you? Do you prepare for the set in any different kind of way in that occasion?
No it's cool, it’s obviously different to playing all night at Crimes Of The Future, though it's still a party.
What’s the fastest BPM you can go during your set?
Ah I don’t have any rules about that, I tend to generally play around house tempo. I have some very fast records though.
Where do you usually start from when you have a remix to deliver? Do you usually choose what you want to remix, or do you get offers and choose from them?
I’ll only do things if something interests me about the original or there is some element I’d like to use. Doesn’t matter if I actually like the original version, I don’t always. Ah its not that complicated, I just delete all the parts of the original except the ones I want to use and build a track around them. There’s nothing clever about it. If anything remixes are easier as you don’t have so many parts to write.
Who do you think is the best remixer of your music and why, of course?
My own stuff hasn’t been remixed a lot, and I engineered Andrew’s ones of my tracks, so I can’t really include those. There is going to be a remixes EP hopefully in a while, maybe next year. The Black Merlin remix for The Asphodells is a bit of a favourite though.
What’s best about Brighton - and what’s worst about it?
I come from near Brighton, when I was a teenager we used to go there a lot, was the nearest place where there was actually something to do. I loved the record shops, there used to be some fantastic ones down there & all the junk shops, that might partly explain my love of kitsch. Most of the first clubs I went to were in Brighton too. The worst? At that time there was a huge old school hip hop scene down there, even though I love the music I did find the scene pretty tiring.
What is the most valuable record in your collection? Both money-wise and for sentimental reasons?
I’m not really a mental record collector, though I have thousands of record - I mean I don’t really ever spend a lot on a record. I do however have things that are worth money now. Couldn’t really tell you the most expensive. I guess some of my soundtrack LP’s were worth money though most of them have been reissued now. Maybe the Dance Mania 12”s too.
What movies that you recently saw could your recommend for having particularly interesting soundtracks?
Watched ‘The Keep’ again recently, love the Tangerine Dream soundtrack on that. Was talking to someone about Nico Ferdenco the other week made me listen to a load of his stuff again. His soundtrack to Zombie Holocaust is a bit of a long favourite.
D.D. 2004 - 2016
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